Was The 2004 NFL Draft The Best Draft Ever?

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst ISeptember 25, 2008

I was pondering one day, to myself, and I was wondering, which year was Eli Manning traded to the New York Giants. I went to wikipedia to make sure that it was the 2004 NFL Draft and not the 2005 and of course, I was right. Eli was drafted in 2004 in the first round, first overall by the San Diego Chargers and then he was traded to the New York Giants for their fourth pick of the first round Philip Rivers. I started to scroll down and I began to wonder how many good players were selected in the 2004 Draft.

After I saw what the draft had brought us, I then wondered that possibly the 2004 NFL Draft was the best NFL Draft ever. Here are some of the great players I found.

1 (1). Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (Via San Diego Chargers)

Eli Manning said he wanted to go to the Giants as soon as he was drafted by San Diego. It took Eli about three years to get settled in the organization and he would lead the Giants to the greatest Super Bowl win in NFL history in his first time in the playoffs.

3 (1). Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald set a record for receptions in Pittsburgh and was drafted to the Cardinals. Through his three seasons Fitzgerald has earned two Pro Bowl selections and has racked up a total of 34 touchdowns so far in his career. He is sure to have a promising one.

4 (1). Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers (Via New York Giants)

Traded from the New York Giants to the San Diego Chargers, Rivers was stacked at running back with LaDanian Tomlinson and was once considered to be better than Manning because he led his team to the playoffs. But Rivers could not get them to the Super Bowl after Drew Brees went to New Orleans. Rivers is still the starter for San Diego and is looking to win the AFC West again.

5 (1). Sean Taylor, FS, Washington Redskins

The tragic loss of safety Sean Taylor put a damper on a great Redskin season last year as they went 9-7. But his spirit uplifted them into winning those last few games with Todd Collins as quarterback. Before his death, Taylor had 12 interceptions in his career and had a total of 299 tackles. In 2007, he was selected All-Pro and has two Pro Bowl selections.

6 (1). Kellen Winslow II, TE, Cleveland Browns

Kellen Winslow II is the son of Kellen Winslow, the great San Diego Charger tight end, was selected by the Cleveland Browns in an attempt to revitalize the city after failing to have a winning season since the return. Winslow had five receptions for 50 yards in his rookie season but did a bone head move in 2005. He wrecked his motorcycle and broke his leg which almost costed him his career. He did show promise that year though getting 1,000+ yards receiving so he could be a big time receiver in the near future.

7 (1). Roy Williams, WR, Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions drafted Williams out of Texas. Williams started out as an electrifying playmaker making magnificent catches and returning kickoffs and punts for touchdowns. He did get injured and was out for his rookie season. Williams though did earn a Pro Bowl bid in 2006 and has racked up 28 receiving touchdowns on 245 receptions. Williams has a bright future and his luck with the organization could change since the firing of Matt Millen.

8 (1). DeAngelo Williams, CB, Atlanta Falcons

DeAngelo Williams was drafted out of Virginia Tech and was a profound corner. Williams had 35 tackles and two interceptions his first year with the Atlanta Falcons. Recently, Williams had a run in with coach Bobby Petrino and Williams left Atlanta and got a big deal with the Oakland Raiders this past offseason. To his credit, Williams has two Pro Bowl selections.

10 (1). Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger was the tenth pick from Miami of Ohio. Roethlisberger started straight out of college and took the role with open arms. He led the Steelers to the playoffs in his first year and almost won the AFC Title game but lost to the Patriots, which would be the eventual champions. In 2005, the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl and Roethlisberger led them to it. They defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. Roethlisberger became the youngest person to win the Super Bowl and he also scored on a QB Sneak.

Then right after the Super Bowl Roethlisberger almost killed himself in a motorcycle crash. People believed that the Steeler Dynasty was finished and his career would be over. But it wasn't and he started most of the games.

So far, Roethlisberger has 12,000+ yards passing and 87 touchdown passes.

44 (2). Bob Sanders, FS, Indianapolis Colts

Right of the gate, Sanders had already made big tackles in the AFC Championship game and has already been awarded as Defensive Player of the Year. He has 2 All-Pro selections and 2 Pro Bowls. He also has a Super Bowl ring which adds to the toal of 3 for the 2004 NFL Draft. He has a long term deal with the Colts, but is out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

81 (3). Chris Cooley, TE, Washington Redskins (Via New Orleans)

Chris Cooley has been featured as a top tight end in the game today. Orginially drafted to New Orleans, Cooley has earned two Pro Bowl selections, one as a starter the other as an alternate. He was also was an All-Pro. Cooley has 2608 yards and 28 touchdowns.

124 (4). Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings (Drafted to Kansas City)

Allen came to the Kansas City Chiefs out of Idaho State and was a diamond in the rough. Last year he was selected as an All-Pro and went to his first Pro Bowl and got a big deal from the Minnesota Vikings. Allen has 43 sacks so far in his career.

154 (5). Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons (Drafted to San Diego)

Michael Turner learned from the best in San Diego as the backup to LaDanian Tomlinson. He was expected to go to the New England Patriots a couple years back but decided to wait out his contract and stay with San Diego. This year, he got his deal with the Falcons and he really proved that he was good. He started out gaining 202 yards rushing in his first game. Turner could be the future of the Falcons organization along with Matt Ryan at the helm.